Sunday 4 December 2011

Blue-winged Teal at Longham

The weekend finished well with a female Blue-winged Teal at Longham Lakes near Bournemouth. This was a Dorset tick for me, and only the 5th or 6th record for the County. Seeing it, however, presented something of a transport dilemma. Claire was driving to Hampshire this morning on the way to a family gathering, which meant I would be without the car. The best option was to get her to drop me off at Longham which was on the way, and then try to get back to Wareham by a combination of bus and train.
Blue-winged Teal (bottom right) with Shoveler
 Buses on Sundays in Dorset are much rarer than Blue-winged Teals so it was a great relief to see my near-neighbour Trevor Warwick among the small crowd of birders admiring the Teal. He kindly dropped me off at home, avoiding a fairly complicated and no doubt lengthy journey home. This unexpected bonus left just enough time to cycle to Middlebere for the last hours of daylight. No Blue-winged Teal there, but the best part of 1,000 of its Common relatives were present, along with a couple of hundred Lapwing, a large Dunlin flock and a few Avocet. Listening to piping Teal, whistling Wigeon, and gurgling Brent Geese, all being watched by a menacing Peregrine perched on a dead tree, was a great way to end the day. 
Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

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